This version (18 Jan 2022 12:53) was approved by Michael Hennerich.The Previously approved version (18 Jan 2022 12:52) is available.Diff

Linux on the Xilinx FPGA development Board

This content is purely informational, and the best place for questions about this content is normally Xilinx, or a friendly consultant (who you will pay), or trainer. These instructions work for us. That does not mean they are complete, accurate, or supported.

This guide provides some step-by-step instructions on how to build a Microblaze Linux Kernel image for the FMC board connected to an

Required Software

Microblaze gnu toolchain from Xilinx is no longer available on git. Please use gnu tools from SDK installation as below:

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export PATH=/opt/Xilinx/Vitis/2021.1/gnu/microblaze/linux_toolchain/lin64_le/bin/:$PATH
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export ARCH=microblaze
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export CROSS_COMPILE=microblazeel-xilinx-linux-gnu-

Latest released files can be downloaded from here

Build Linux - Step by Step instructions

Get Microblaze Little Endian Toolchain from Xilinx

Download the Vivado SDK from here Download And make sure you followed the instructions for Microblaze GNU Toolchain

Get Linux kernel source

This specifies any shell prompt running on the development host

Dave@HAL9000:~$ git clone
Cloning into 'linux'...
remote: Counting objects: 2757163, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (495484/495484), done.
remote: Total 2757163 (delta 2296596), reused 2687337 (delta 2234506)
Receiving objects: 100% (2757163/2757163), 782.04 MiB | 1.39 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (2296596/2296596), done.

Checkout master branch

This specifies any shell prompt running on the development host

Dave@HAL9000:~$ cd linux/
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ git checkout master
Checking out files: 100% (16412/16412), done.
Branch master set up to track remote branch master from origin.
Switched to a new branch 'master'

Set Environmental Variables

This specifies any shell prompt running on the development host

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ source /opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2021.1/
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export ARCH=microblaze
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export CROSS_COMPILE=microblazeel-xilinx-linux-gnu-
Instead of sourcing the Vivado script you can alternatively add your microblaze gcc toolchain directly to your PATH variable:
Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ export PATH=/opt/Xilinx/Vitis/2021.1/gnu/microblaze/linux_toolchain/lin64_le/bin/:$PATH

Configure Kernel

This specifies any shell prompt running on the development host

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ make adi_mb_defconfig
# configuration written to .config

Get Root File-System

The root file system or rootfs contains everything (besides the Linux kernel itself) needed to support a full Linux system. It contains all the (user) applications, configurations, services, data, etc. Without the rootfs your Linux system cannot run. You can either just download the pre-build image or build it yourself. Instructions can be found here: Building with buildroot

rootfs.cpio.gz rootfs.cpio.gz must be placed in the root of your kernel tree. (~/linux/rootfs.cpio.gz)

This specifies any shell prompt running on the target or development host

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ wget
--2022-01-18 09:52:08--
Resolving (
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 6772207 (6,5M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘rootfs.cpio.gz’

rootfs.cpio.gz                                     100%[===============================================================================================================>]   6,46M  3,32MB/s    in 1,9s    

2022-01-18 09:52:12 (3,32 MB/s) - ‘rootfs.cpio.gz’ saved [6772207/6772207]

Build kernel

The result of building the kernel is an elf file in arch/microblaze/boot named simpleImage.<dts file name> based on the dts specified.

The build process for the kernel searches in the arch/microblaze/boot/dts directory for a specified device tree file and then builds the device tree into the kernel image.

The following command shows the general format for the build target name. Note that the <dts file name> does not include the file extension “.dts”.

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ make simpleImage.<dts file name>

To see what device-trees for the different FPGA carrier and FMC module combination exist type:

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ ls -l arch/microblaze/boot/dts

This specifies any shell prompt running on the target or development host

Dave@HAL9000:~/linux$ make -j4 simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1
  SYNC    include/config/auto.conf.cmd
  CC      scripts/mod/empty.o
  CC      scripts/mod/devicetable-offsets.s
  MKELF   scripts/mod/elfconfig.h
  HOSTCC  scripts/mod/modpost.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/mod/sumversion.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/mod/file2alias.o

[ --snip-- ]

  AR      init/built-in.a
  LD      vmlinux.o
  MODPOST vmlinux.symvers
  MODINFO modules.builtin.modinfo
  GEN     modules.builtin
  LD      .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms1
  KSYMS   .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms1.S
  AS      .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms1.S
  LD      .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms2
  KSYMS   .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms2.S
  AS      .tmp_vmlinux.kallsyms2.S
  LD      vmlinux
  SORTTAB vmlinux
  OBJCOPY arch/microblaze/boot/simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1
  SHIPPED arch/microblaze/boot/simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1.unstrip
  STRIP   vmlinux arch/microblaze/boot/simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1.strip
  UIMAGE  arch/microblaze/boot/simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1.ub
Image Name:   Linux-5.10.0-97916-g513446e488c3
Created:      Tue Jan 18 12:07:35 2022
Image Type:   MicroBlaze Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed)
Data Size:    18398124 Bytes = 17966.92 KiB = 17.55 MiB
Load Address: 80000000
Entry Point:  80000000
Kernel: arch/microblaze/boot/simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1 is ready  (#3678)
The STRIP image found under arch/microblaze/boot/ is the ELF image which can be loaded via the debugger

Boot Kernel on FPGA Microblaze

Then one method to load the kernel onto the already built and running FPGA which has the Microblaze processor is to launch XMD or XSDB from the Xilinx Vivado toolset from within …/linux/arch/microblaze/boot and run from the XMD or XSDB shell:

XMD has been deprecated and will be removed in the future. XSDB/XSCT replaces XMD and provides additional functionality. Xilinx recommends you switch to XSDB for command line debugging. You can find more information about these tools in the Embedded System Tools Reference Manual (UG1043)

For XMD:

xmd> fpga -f system_top.bit
xmd> connect mb mdm
xmd> dow simpleImage.vc707_fmcomms2-3
xmd> run


xsdb> connect
xsdb> fpga -f system_top.bit
xsdb> targets
  1  xcku040
     2  MicroBlaze Debug Module at USER2
        3  MicroBlaze #0 (Running)
xsdb> targets 3
xsdb> dow simpleImage.kcu105_fmcdaq2
xsdb> con

Configure and loading using a TCL script

Example TCL script:

fpga -f system_top.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_revc.bit
after 1000
target 3
dow simpleImage.vcu118_quad_ad9081_204c_txmode_23_rxmode_25_onchip_pll_revc_nz1.strip
after 1000

From XSDB or XSCT:

xsdb> source run.tcl

(more details, methods of how to get bit file and kernel on flash and/or boot off SD Card is appreciated)

resources/tools-software/linux-drivers/platforms/microblaze.txt · Last modified: 18 Jan 2022 12:53 by Michael Hennerich